IOC suspends Olympic official Nuzman in vote-buying case

Share

Nuzman and Leonardo Gryner, another Rio Olympics official taken into custody, have been swept up in allegations that $2 million was funneled to former International Olympic Committee member Lamine Diack in exchange for securing votes that helped Rio outpace Madrid for the 2016 Games.

Another senior Brazilian Olympics official, Leonardo Gryner, was also detained Thursday for allegedly making a deal with Diack to deposit money in his bank account the same week Rio was chosen for the games.

Nuzman is believed to be a central figure in channeling at least $2 million of a Brazilian businessman's money to Lamine Diack, a former International Olympic Committee member from Senegal who helped control African votes.

In the scheme investigated, there would be the participation of former Rio de Janeiro's governor Sérgio Cabral.

French prosecutors announced a year ago that they were widening their investigation into corruption in athletics to include the bidding-and-voting processes for the hosting of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

The IOC board chaired by President Thomas Bach approved Ban's suggested sanctions on Friday, and added others, in a further sign of frustration with Rio organizers since the troubled Summer Games ended 14 months ago.

Headquarters of the committee were also searched.

Suspending Nuzman from his IOC positions is one thing but the measures taken against COB (the Brazilian Olympic committee) are highly unusual, which only underlines the seriousness of the crisis developing around Rio 2016. The corruption investigation is known as "Operation Unfair Play". Rio won the games in 2009 with 66 votes in the third round of voting among the International Olympic Committee members. Overall, Nuzman's estate has increased in value by 457 percent over the past 10 years with the most notable spikes occurring over the past three years.

Marcelo Bretas, the federal judge who issued the arrest warrant, said that new evidence indicated Nuzman's role in the alleged vote buying scheme was "more relevant" than previously believed. All parties have denied the allegations.

The IOC is conducting an internal investigation and said it will cooperate with Brazilian authorities.

Share